Sure, he can eat a mountain of food in minutes, but how will Mr Sato cope with decorating the office in seconds?

If you’ve been reading our site for a while, you’ll know our Japanese-language reporter Mr Sato is always up for a challenge. Having already proved his mettle against a towering burger filled with ramen and reigning victorious at a speed-eating contest, Mr Sato knows how to exceed expectations and get the job done, no matter how impossible the task may seem.

So when we asked him to bring a bit of Christmas spirit into the office, he seized the opportunity to use it as a chance to test his skills and wow all the members of the team. He immediately turned to his colleague P.K. and asked, “How long do you think it’ll take me to put up a Christmas tree with decorations?” P.K. laughed, remembering the time Mr Sato fumbled around the office assembling a cardboard toilet for 20 minutes, and said, “If you do it in thirty seconds I’ll buy you a beer.

That was all the incentive Mr Sato needed to get started on his quest to assemble a Christmas tree in as short a time as possible. He opened up his laptop and went online to see how he could wipe the smirk off P.K’s face and get his hands on that free beer.

After scrolling through a few sites, he stumbled upon the answer to his dreams; a find so remarkable that he didn’t think twice about hitting the “buy now” button and shelling out 9,479 yen (US$85).

Christmas trees are notoriously expensive in Japan, so the price tag on this 180-centimetre (5.9-foot) tall beauty was actually pretty reasonable. But what really made this tree special was its easy-to-assemble “One, Two, Three Tree” system, which Mr Sato believed would be the key to making P.K’s jaw drop.

When it arrived, he opened the box and prepared himself for the three-step process, which the company said would get the tree from box to finished product in seconds. Mr Sato then got P.K. to stand at the front door, and asked him to turn around and count until he told him to stop.

Step one: Put the stand on the floor.

Step Two: Attach the pole (it’s a good job Mr Sato knows his way around a pole).

Step Three: Take out the greenery and…

▼ Bung it on!

Ta daaaaaaa! Whaddaya think of that, P.K.?

By the time Mr Sato yelled out “stop!”, P.K. had counted up to… the 28-second mark! With that, P.K. turned around and saw that the previously empty corner now looked like this.

Mr Sato’s smile said it all — not only had he completed the seemingly impossible task, but now the room suddenly felt festive, especially with P.K.’s stunned expression, which meant Mr Sato would soon be kicking back and enjoying a nice cold free beer.

▼ Just don’t tell P.K. the tree came in a box like this.

While P.K. was left to nurse his wounds after being outsmarted by Mr Sato, everyone else in the office was suitably impressed with the speedy 30-second Christmas makeover. But if Mr Sato asks us to send him a challenge in the future, we’ll remember to look busy, or better yet use his method to call in sick so we can avoid him for the day.

Related: Amazon Japan
[ Read in Japanese ]